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Developments in technology have allowed the remote gambling industry to grow rapidly in recent years.

According to the Gambling Commission the sector, which includes online gambling, constituted 32% of the overall market and almost £4.5 billion in Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) in Great Britain from October 2015 to September 2016.

The GGY figure has more than doubled over the past two years.

For people who travel, the opportunity to pass the time gambling could help relieve the boredom and make the whole experience a much more enjoyable affair.

Cruise ships have had plenty of success with onboard casinos, but this hasn’t previously transferred to the airline industry.

Airline companies have tried to introduce casino games on flights in the past, with the likes of Singapore Airlines and SwissAir making simple slot machines available for passengers to try their luck on while over the open seas.

However, when a SwissAir flight crashed in 1998 as a result of the onboard gambling system overheating causing the deaths of 229 people, further developments were quickly shelved.

Fast forward nearly two decades and the airline industry has moved on significantly, with Wi-Fi services, on-seat televisions and video games now a common feature.

This potentially opens the door for the inclusion of casino games in passenger seats, paving the way for betting offers from companies like Bet365.

The idea has some drawbacks, particularly for flights over countries where online gambling is illegal.

Some airlines have toyed with the idea of replacing cargo space with a casino floor, but potential passenger dissatisfaction over less luggage space was just one reason the idea didn’t get off the ground.

With the high cost of buying and flying an aeroplane around every inch of space used has to be cost effective, meaning an in-flight casino would have to make big money.

The convenience of online gambling means this is the area where airlines are most likely to enjoy sustainable growth in the future, but arguably the biggest hurdle they face is the quality of Wi-Fi they can offer whilst up in the air.

It is certainly adequate for checking emails or using social media, but whether it is stable enough to risk real money is debatable.

Aeroplane Wi-Fi technology hasn’t fully evolved in the same way land-based services have, leaving passengers running the risk of losing their money if their flight hits some turbulence for instance.

Improving the technology would be expensive and given that some airlines are reluctant to invest in better facilities for passengers it’s unlikely they’ll be in a rush to improve that aspect of their service.

While the theory of gambling on an aeroplane certainly has some appeal, it’s fair to say that technology still has a little way to go before it becomes a regular feature on the majority of airlines.


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